A BHP Billiton copper/uranium/gold/silver processing plant near the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.
A BHP Billiton copper/uranium/gold/silver processing plant near the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia. AFPBHP BILLITON

Australia is ready to deal in Uranium

STOP buying weapons-grade uranium off those Soviets, Australia is ready to deal.

With world nuclear power plants needing 20% more uranium than current world supply allows, Federal resources minister Gary Gray said he believed a stronger national uranium industry could fill that gap.

Mr Gray told the Australian Uranium Association's annual conference in Canberra on Thursday, there were "excellent opportunities" to build exports.

He said the world's 435 nuclear plants needed more than 66,000 tonnes - about 11,000 above current supplies.

"The shortfall is largely being met from secondary sources, such as re-processing highly enriched weapons-grade uranium from the former Soviet Republic," Mr Gray said.

Australia is believed to have one-third of the world supply of uranium.

Late last year, Queensland announced it would resume uranium mining after it was banned in 1989.

Exploration is now allowed in all Australian states aside from Victoria, although New South Wales allows for exploration but not mining.


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